Guest blogging has been a mainstay for websites large and small for some time now, and its practice is on the rise.
If you have never heard of it, it’s quite simple; it’s where a blogger for one site (normally one they own) will write a blog post for another site in a related niche. This is normally accompanied by an author bio box that has a small blurb about the writer and importantly a link back to their own site.
This backlink has helped with the increase of guest blogging, marketers have jumped on the bandwagon to obtain decent backlinks for their sites as search engines like Google have favored (or at least not slapped down) guest blog links.
Recently though, Matt Cutts from announced from his personal blog that “guest blogging is done”.
Too many people have abused this once legitimate system and started offering payment in return for the guest post (a violation of Googles quality guidelines which can see your site get spanked), and providing poor quality articles and links to content just as poor.
a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains
Google generally takes a hard line against anything that can be seen to game the system, and as guest blogging has been taken on as a link building tactic, we can be sure that Google will be training their beady eye on the practice.
This latest post from Matt alongside a history of related videos and posts are indicative that Google has plans for guest blogging.
Is it dead or what?
So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy
The thing is, I don’t think guest blogging is dead per se, I think that as with most of the recent algorithm changes Google will be focusing on quality content, and the content of the sites you link to.
Just because you have a guest blogger can’t mean that Google will punish you; if that was the case there are thousands, tens of thousands of high quality, high readership sites that will get punished.
What it does mean though is a likely algorithm change in the near future, one that targets sites with author bio’s and Google authorship indicating a guest post (but who knows with Google!).
It is also more than likely that Google will only be targeting the poor quality sites and content, ones which just scream that they were made just for SEO and not because the content is valuable.
I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well
However, as with most of the menagerie of algorithm releases, there is likely to be some friendly fire, so this guest blogger would like to give you some advice: Don’t stop using guest bloggers, but…
- Don’t accept a guest poster if they want to pay you, this normally suggests a marketer solely using the post for SEO.
- Research your guest bloggers – are they legit? Have they posted elsewhere? Is their previous content good?
- Make sure that the post content is quality, and not “thin” or poorly written. Make sure it isn’t a duplicate!
- Importantly, make sure that the page you are linking back to has good quality, and that the overall site is of high quality too.
- Check your old guest posts periodically. If they no longer meet high standards, remove the post/links.
All in all, this is common web sense in this day and age: keep content quality high, outbound links low and to respectable sites.